It’s been a routine to me for years now: wake up, check Gmail, then check Reddit. After reading, I feel up to speed with almost everything that’s going on in the world around me.
While delivering news and humour was never much of a challenge for Reddit, maintaining an upstanding community can be. Like every social website, there is a darker side of the community. Some incredibly popular subreddits have been exposed as some of the most indecent places on the Internet – the /r/jailbait incident is only one example.
As bad as Reddit can be, though, you shouldn’t let that blur your perception of the Reddit community as a whole. There are a lot of really great people on Reddit – here’s where you can find them.
/r/CasualConversation is the definitive subreddit of this kind. The entire purpose of this community is to provide people of all types with a place where they can just let themselves go and have a simple, care-free conversation with a stranger.
For community regulars, it’s a place of solace. It’s one of Reddit’s kindest and most understanding communities. Subscribers of /r/CasualConversation are looking for conversation, not arguments or problems, and that’s what they find.
The “random acts” umbrella of subreddits is filled with some of the most awesome people you’re going to find on the Internet, and /r/RandomKindness may be the head of this class. While subreddits such as /r/Assistance and /r/Food_Pantry cater to people who are in dire need or an emergency situation, /r/RandomKindness is where you’re going to find people who have good hearts just because.
I think one of the key points that makes this subreddit so polite and successful is the fact that it’s much easier to offer “random kindness” than it is to request such a thing. In another subreddit, /r/Random_Acts_of_Pizza, you’ll see that the vast majority of posts are requests. It isn’t the same at /r/RandomKindness. By nature, this subreddit brings the best out of people.
Reddit is a place where you can find communities built around even the most obscure interests. Three of them stand out to me as particularly helpful and polite: /r/knitting, /r/cigars, and /r/fountainpens.
Although these three communities are very different in their interests, what unites them is that the core of each of their communities are very passionate about their hobby and love spreading the word.
Contrast this with /r/gaming, for example. It has a very narrow focus, similar to our three kind subreddits. The difference is that you’re going to find people who hate the games you love, who refuse to play certain consoles, and who are always ready to bash you for not liking the things that they like. That partially is the result of a much larger subscriber base, but if you spend some time in /r/kniting, /r/cigars & /r/fountainpens you’ll find that they are much warmer, and more welcoming.
/r/knitting is a great place to show your knit creations and offer advice to others who enjoy the craft. /r/cigars is a fantastic spot for cigar aficionados, young and old, to discover and discuss cigars. /r/fountainpens is a community where others show off their beautiful new pens, help others shop for their own, and simply fawn over this accessory.
To the everyday Redditor, the typical religious discussion revolves around either Christianity or Atheism. Reddit plays home to one of the largest and proudest communities for atheists on the Internet, but it’s not always welcoming. As an atheist myself, I find that /r/atheism is often very critical, and even outright rude.
/r/Buddhism is simply not like that.
Buddhists have a reputation for being some of the most kind and understanding people on earth. This subreddit is no different. /r/Buddhism is filled with helpful and enlightening individuals, who want to instill happiness and understanding in everyone – even if you aren’t a close follower of Buddhism.
As a male in my 20s, it wasn’t until I stumbled upon this subreddit that I managed to fully understand the actual struggle that it is for some females to find a bra that fits them. As a Reddit community very specific to women’s underwear and bust sizes, you’d expect some of the bottom-feeding trolls of Reddit to run rampant. That doesn’t seem to be the case!
/r/ABraThatFits is a community of more than 30,000 users (mostly female, I assume) that are there to help women (usually, but not always) find bras to comfortably fit them.
Stereotypes, memes, and more mainstream communities like as Bodybuilding.com’s “Misc.” board have warped the Internet’s image of the physically fit into something that isn’t particularly favorable. /r/loseit is a subreddit dedicated to losing weight, and it comes with none of the negative undertones found in other fitness communities.
Losing weight, no matter the amount, is something worth celebrating and congratulating others over. It’s not something that’s easy to do by accident, so when it happens you know that someone really put hard work and effort into the loss. /r/loseit is the subreddit to discuss fitness, track your weight loss, and see the progress of others around you on that same journey. In a community where the goal is to achieve something that can positively affect one’s life, it’s hard not to be kind and positive. Self-improvement and personal growth are two Reddit specialties.
/r/history is another subreddit community that is far too busy learning, teaching, and advancing knowledge to bother with being impolite and hateful. This is one of the few subreddits that seems to consistently have a very rich and encouraging discussion on the frontpage, every single day.
While there are major differences in opinions and common disagreements, more often than not both sides of any conversation make it out alive, happy, and more knowledgeable.
Reddit can be Surprisingly Kind
Reddit isn’t all about religious smears and /r/soccer arguments. The deeper you go, the more you find. There are plenty of bigots and trolls on Reddit, but navigating around them isn’t too difficult. With the good comes the bad, and the great thing about Reddit is that you only have to see the things you want to. Subscribe to some of these subreddits above and get some goodness on your frontpage! Otherwise, check out my five tips on how to find new subreddits or mash away at Reddit’s “random” button.
Do you know any other subreddits filled with outstanding individuals? Let me know in the comments below! If you’re interested in learning more about Reddit, be sure to check out MakeUseOf’s official Reddit guide.